Media release: BBC TWO controller, Patrick Holland, appointed advisory chair of the Edinburgh TV Festival


BBC TWO controller, Patrick Holland, has been appointed as the advisory chair of the Edinburgh Television Festival, which will run from Wednesday August 26 to Friday August 28 2020, it was announced today.

Holland will work with the festival team to spearhead a group of cross-genre industry executives to help curate the 2020 programme and lead the advisory committee.

Holland’s festival theme looks at our evolving TV ecology, the increasingly global market, and the role of PSBs and how they can respond, following decades of being at the centre of our culture.

Broadcasters may continue to deliver huge audiences to individual shows and sports coverage but overall audience behaviour has never been more unpredictable. The new entrants to the VOD market over the last year mean that change is only set to accelerate.

With so much content on offer, audiences are spoilt for choice and with some producers enjoying more opportunity than ever before, how will this new TV ecology work? And what does the future hold for broadcasters both inside and outside the PSB model? With the whole industry facing a series of urgent questions, this year’s TV festival welcomes everyone from the global TV landscape to come together and discuss them.

He said: “PSBs have always been central to the unique broadcast and production landscape of the UK. With so many new entrants to the VOD market, that ecology is changing, fast. How much should we care? What does it mean for the nation at a time of huge political uncertainty? It is a great privilege to take on this role and lead the discussion about the future of the TV industry as the festival celebrates all of the great possibilities our industry is engaged with and the challenges we all face.”

As part of the ambition for the 45th TV festival, Holland wants to explore these major issues through a number of key themes, including:

* Purpose – What is the role of broadcasters and public service in the coming decade?

* Collaboration and Partnership – What does the ‘golden age of content’ mean for the production community?

* Under-35s – Can broadcasters ever win back the hearts and minds of the under-35s? What are the success stories from the past 12 months and what have we learnt from them? And how are other brands and platforms successfully reaching this notoriously difficult to get audience?

* Inclusivity – What does programming look like for audiences who want to see authentic portrayal and better representation of lives like theirs on screen?

* British creativity – British content is world-renowned but in a global landscape, how can the UK market respond to ensure programmes that root us and provide a sense of place are truly representative of the whole country and modern Britain? What can they do to tackle the most pertinent issues of the day and make them appealing to the whole of the UK?

* Regulation – What’s the future of regulation and what impact does it have on programme-making and broadcasters? What needs to be done to level the playing field and who can do it?

These talking points will run alongside popular creative masterclasses, keynotes, Meet the Controller sessions and keynote interviews. In 2019, these included: masterclasses on BBC drama Killing Eve and Netflix’s Top Boy; interviews with Louis Theroux, Hugh Laurie, James Graham and Paul Feig, and an Alternative MacTaggart with Jerry Springer, alongside a widely-praised MacTaggart speech from Dorothy Byrne, which continues to resonate in TV and political circles.

Outgoing CEO and festival director, Lisa Campbell, said: “The festival presents the ideal platform to discuss the fundamental questions of the future and how best to support all the incredible talent that the broadcasters have given rise to. Patrick’s passion for the industry and the festival, and his experience as both producer and broadcasting exec, will ensure he helps create another unmissable event.”

Executive chair, Graham Stuart, said: ““The festival is extremely fortunate to have a genuine television heavyweight with a skilfully light touch as the 2020 advisory chair. Patrick Holland’s programme will have relevance and style in equal measure.”

The advisory chair is an one-year position and Holland takes over from Kelly Webb-Lamb, Channel 4’s deputy director of programmes.

As a festival and a charity, the Edinburgh Television Festival is committed to helping people from all backgrounds gain access and develop their careers further in the TV industry. Within its charity umbrella, The TV Foundation, it runs two talent schemes, Ones to Watch and The Network as well as a year-round programme of events and support.

For more press information please contact 020 8995 3936

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